The Federal Government has implored the media and public commentators to exercise utmost restraint in their coverage of the fallouts of the recent farmers/herders’ clash in Benue State in order not to further inflame passion and worsen the situation.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Saturday by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said that while the Federal Government was working hard to address the situation with a view to preventing a recurrence not just in Benue State but everywhere across the country, it was incumbent on the media and public commentators not to engage in actions that can aggravate the crisis.
“’Lest we are misunderstood, we are neither saying the media should not cover the crisis nor asking public commentators to desist from commenting on it. All we are saying is that both must be circumspect.
“The current poisoned atmosphere of incendiary comments, unrestrained use of pictures and footages that offend human sensibilities as well as finger-pointing can only exacerbate the situation and complicate ongoing efforts to end the crisis,” he said.
Mohammed said the Federal Government was absolutely saddened by the loss of lives and the destruction of property resulting from the crisis, and recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari, in commiserating with the Benue State Governor, unreservedly condemned the killings and also assured of the necessary security measures to prevent further attacks and bring the perpetrators to book.
He said the Federal Government had also mapped out short and long-term solutions to the incessant clashes between farmers and herders, including a planned conference of stakeholders, and assured of the government’s strong determination to find a lasting solution to the farmers/herders’ clashes.